Prepare Yourself, Home and Family For A New Dog - Panhandle Animal Shelter

Prepare Yourself, Home and Family For A New Dog

By Casey Williams of

Congratulations, you are adding a furry friend to your home and this is a joyous occasion. A new dog is a major commitment as they require constant care, supervision and training. 

The dedication required to acclimate a dog into the house is important to the well-being of both the dog and the family. The reward for putting in that time is well worth it. A dog can quickly become a loyal family member and create special bonds with each person in the home. 

Here are a few things to remember when it comes to caring for your new addition.

Essentials To Provide For Your Newly Adopted Dog

The following are essentials that responsible dog owners need to provide for their new dog:

  • Vet care that includes yearly check-up appointments and necessary vaccinations
  • Nutritious food and water
  • Shelter

Other items highly suggested to prepare for your new pup include the following:

  • Dog bed
  • Kennel if needed
  • Toys to keep the dog entertained
  • Treats
  • Fenced in yard or way to safely allow outside time

Once the dog is officially yours, then you can begin your own routine and training for your furry friend.

Make Your Home A Happy Space For Fido

Everything in your home will be new and exciting to your dog. You must be patient as your pup takes in the new surroundings. You can help take the edge off by putting comfort items in all of the rooms that your dog is allowed in. 

A dog bed and toys should be located in the room you want your dog to rest in. Leave the dog bowls down in the kitchen or area that you will be feeding your dog. Let your dog sniff out these items and learn his or her way around. Your dog will enjoy his or her new toys and begin to feel at home in their new environment.

Restrictions Are Good In The Beginning

Do not let new dogs have access to the entire home at once. This is not to restrict them and make them feel isolated but it will help them feel comfortable gradually and not become overwhelmed or easily confused. 

Utilize baby gates or simply shut doors to keep your dog in one area at a time. A new home is a new layout for your dog to learn and the most important thing is to learn which door to exit to use the yard and where their food and water are located. 

Keep a watchful eye on your dog and you will know when it is ready to explore a new space. Typically within the first month of having a dog it will then gain access to the entire home. Going out and not making messes throughout the house will become routine and your dog will not get lost or disoriented in the space. 

Smaller homes take less time to familiarize with and age also plays a factor in this. An adult dog may have previously been in a home and already be housebroken. Those dogs will probably familiarize themselves more quickly than a 10-week old puppy that is still in the process of being fully potty trained.

Establish and Familiarize Your Pet With the Vet

You should have your new dog seen by your veterinarian. Even if your dog comes with papers it is a good idea to drop those off in person so your dog becomes familiar with the care establishment they will be frequenting. 

The place will be less intimidating the more they are introduced. There are added bonus points here if your vets’ office has a groomer that you like in the same building. Your dog will become more comfortable with more positive visits. 

Speak with your vet about vaccinations and preventative treatments for your furry friends’ health. As time passes and your dog becomes more comfortable in your home you may notice some behaviors that should be corrected. 

Your veterinarian is also a wonderful asset to help you establish a trainer to get your dog back on track. If you do not have a veterinarian lined up then it is essential to make this a priority as soon as you bring your pooch home.

Prepare Yourself and Be Responsible

Part of being responsible also includes prepping your home for your dog. Remove all plants and other items that could be toxic to pets. Prepare for the added expense and time commitments to properly care for your dog. 

Responsible pet ownership is very important. Your dog relies on you for literally everything. You are the person that lets him out into the yard, you are the person that feeds him, you are the person that walks him and gets him groomed. 

You are the one that your dog waits all day to see because you make him happy. Never leave your dog outside on a hot day without water. Limit exposure in extreme temperatures whether it is excessive heat or frigid cold. 

Never leave your dog without shelter and always feed your dog on the recommended vet routine and quantity. 

Wrapping Up

Prepare yourself mentally for any challenges your pup might present. This is key to preparing yourself and your family to become responsible pet owners.

When you add a dog to your family you are signing up for a life of commitment and vet care. You will need to provide all of the basic needs to your pet to ensure he lives a long and healthy life.

*Casey Williams is a profession dog trainer and the founder of – visit for more articles by Casey.